- January 21, 2022
- By Liana Moca
Conducting a ceremony of farewell for a person is the most important task as a celebrant.
When the deceased has strongly expressed the wish to be greeted secularly, it is correct to respect this desire.
Sometimes someone asks me: is the funeral for the one who dies or for the ones who stay? I believe it is for both. If someone who loved you always made it clear that they wanted a secular ceremony, it is an act of respect for them to organise the ceremony as they wanted it.
As the celebrant, I will help you to make this moment of greeting meaningful and respectful of everyone.
It is important that all people feel involved and can share in the farewell.
There are no pre-established rites, no designated places, the only important thing is to make the ritual dignified and true.
How does it work?
Usually I am contacted by the funeral company, but sometimes the family or friends of the deceased may contact me directly.
During the first interview, which usually takes place on the phone, the most important arrangements are made: the place, the day and the time, and then I try to find the right time to meet them.
I go to see family and friends to talk to them. I ask them to explain the reasons for the choice of a secular funeral, then I try to understand what kind of person the deceased was, I ask them to tell me episodes of their life. I carry out my assignment, always taking into account the situation I am faced with: it is essential to manage this moment with extreme care and great respect towards everyone.
After gathering these elements, I write the ceremony. The text will be a tribute to the life of the person who has left, I will report the values that animated their life and I will try to tell it with extreme fairness and sincerity.
I will include within the text poems or readings chosen together with the family or some music that the deceased liked.
I will submit the text for review to family and friends: this is an important step, because only they know the sensitivities of those present and it is right that the text should be respectful to all.
At the time of the ceremony, I will be present at the place where the ceremony will take place and I will cooperate with the funeral company to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
"You were able to explain how it worked in such a short time and you took us by the hand, helping us through such a difficult time. We will not forget". A.
Where can a secular funeral take place?
If the coffin is closed or there is a cinerary urn, the funeral can take place almost anywhere. Recently, a number of private facilities have opened that can be used for this purpose.
Here are some examples:
– In the garden of the house;
– In the cemetery;
– In a private or public secular farewell room;
– In the garden of a restaurant/ceremony venue;
– In a hall open to the public. Municipalities often provide theatres or community halls;
– In the crematorium.
In secular funerals there are no limits to the choice of music. Usually, the music that the deceased liked is chosen.
You can choose classical, rock or pop music.
You can ask someone to play it live or look for recorded tracks.
The family can indicate which music is the most popular and evaluate if it can be used in the place where the ceremony will take place.
During the ceremony it may be appropriate to listen to verses of some great poet or a prose reflection.
The passage can be read by a family member or friend.